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A second U.S. diocese seeks bankruptcy protection.

Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas said in a letter to parishes, "I want you to know that the diocese did everything it could to settle the pending abuse cases in a financially responsible manner.., as the steward of our diocese ... I could not have agreed to a settlement ... stripping the diocese of everything." "I also want you to know," he continued, "that ... we will continue to try to resolve these cases and any others that come forward."

Bishop Kicanas figures that the diocese needs the "neutral forum" of the bankruptcy court to provide "protection and fair adjudication" so that, not only can compensation be given to those who have been harmed, but the diocese can also carry on with its regular work in spreading the gospel. In a separate letter to abuse claimants, the bishop gave them his assurance that the court petition was not a way of avoiding his responsibility towards them.

Tucson is the second U.S. diocese to file for bankruptcy protection this year. On July 6, the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, filed under Chapter 11 in the light of two upcoming abuse trials in which the plaintiffs were claiming a total of $160 million in damages. Sixty further claims are still pending. The archdiocese had already settled previous claims using $21 million from its own funds. (Origins, September 30, 2004)
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Title Annotation:United States
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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